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RNA. 2004 Oct;10(10):1489-98.

Multiple links between transcription and splicing.

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  • 1Departamento de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Celular, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, IFIByNE-CONICET, Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellón II (C1428EHA) Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Transcription and pre-mRNA splicing are extremely complex multimolecular processes that involve protein-DNA, protein-RNA, and protein-protein interactions. Splicing occurs in the close vicinity of genes and is frequently cotranscriptional. This is consistent with evidence that both processes are coordinated and, in some cases, functionally coupled. This review focuses on the roles of cis- and trans-acting factors that regulate transcription, on constitutive and alternative splicing. We also discuss possible functions in splicing of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the RNA polymerase II (pol II) largest subunit, whose participation in other key pre-mRNA processing reactions (capping and cleavage/polyadenylation) is well documented. Recent evidence indicates that transcriptional elongation and splicing can be influenced reciprocally: Elongation rates control alternative splicing and splicing factors can, in turn, modulate pol II elongation. The presence of transcription factors in the spliceosome and the existence of proteins, such as the coactivator PGC-1, with dual activities in splicing and transcription can explain the links between both processes and add a new level of complexity to the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes.

Copyright 2004 RNA Society

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